Phantoms Donate Stuffed Animals to Valley Youth House
December 20, 2022
Lehigh Valley, PA – The official count is in! Phantoms fans tossed 8,480 stuffed animals onto the ice at PPL Center on Saturday during the team’s annual Teddy Bear Toss Night presented by Big Woody’s. That beat last year’s total by almost 2,000.
Lehigh Valley’s Teddy Bear Toss history is now at an incredible grand total of 45,908 thrown and donated stuffies in all Teddy Bear Toss games combined.
Cooper Marody triggered the airborne, plushy insanity with 5:19 remaining in the second period scoring the team’s first goal of the game on a deflection of a point-shot by Adam Ginning.
“It’s something that was pretty cool to be a part of,” Marody said. “It’s fun chaos. And it’s something that’s so different for hockey to all of a sudden have all these teddy bears come onto the ice. And, more importantly, it’s going to an amazing cause and an amazing organization here. And these bears are going to make an impact on kids in need and that’s the most important thing.”
On Monday, Cooper Marody and Adam Ginning, as well as other members of the Phantoms staff, arrived at Valley Youth House to personally deliver thousands of teddy bears one big bag at a time through the front door.
“All of our staff are so excited to see the parade of teddy bears,” said Emily Conners of Valley Youth House. “Because they know what it means to their clients and to the youth that they’re serving. They know that it’s going to put smiles from ear to ear. And we hear that every year from our counselors. These are youths that are going through really vulnerable and crisis situations in their own lives and often through no fault of their own. So to be able to provide even that moment of joy and comfort is so critical.”
“I didn’t think it would be that many bears,” Ginning said. “It was a lot! But it’s fun. And it’s fun that a lot of people came and brought the teddy bears and it’s also a great thing that we are doing. We’re so happy to help and we could see that they were very excited and happy that we did this.”
Cooper Marody officially adds his name to some elite company of Lehigh Valley Phantoms players who have scored Teddy Bear Toss goals including Gerry Mayhew (2021), Chris Bigras (2019), Connor Bunnaman (2018), Matt Read (2017), Nic Aube-Kubel (2016), Andrew McDonald (2015), and the first Lehigh Valley Teddy Goal by Brett Hextall in 2014.
“It’s something that we’ll always remember,” Marody said. “I’m so happy that I can be a little bit of a help. I know these employees are doing so many things for the community and helping people and kids that are in need. They’re doing amazing things here.”
Click here for more info on ValleyYouthHouse and the services they provide.